I’m Back!

2016 proved to be an incredibly challenging year, for my family and me.

‘We weathered a windstorm that blew off part of our siding on our home’, leaving the upper attic area exposed to the elements. Thank God for our neighbor who alerted us to the situation.

Shortly,  thereafter, another storm brought down our 20+ Blue Spruce tree in our backyard.

The final straw was in August 2016, when a toilet water surge travelled down three stories through our home and devastated our lives for the past six months.

I worked for eight years with a federal agency in Emergency Management to deploy employees to disaster-stricken areas, for the purpose of helping families recover from manmade disasters. The sympathetic approach of working to restore order to chaos, was reciprocated to myself and my family.

We had an incredible group of men who were assigned to the Mitigation/Recovery phase. They were so professional and patient throughout the process of tearing down what we spent years building throughout  our home. I silently stood by and witnessed them work their magic to clean up our walls, rebuild subfloors and make sure our home was safe and clean at its core again.

The process tested our resolve to handle one problem after another. My husband took the brunt of this new ordeal and became very ill. I had to sit back and watch my Rock of Gibraltar fall to a low point and couldn’t control any part of his journey. In time, he recovered and bounced back to his former self.

We are still in the renovation stage and are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Several people have said to me “That we will have a new house” and to that I think, we will finally have #ORDER. It is a very important aspect of being a family to maintain an ordered and harmonious living environment. I am striving for that goal and thank my readers for your patience throughout this process.

My attempts to post were stymied by fatigue, weariness, contractor visits after contractors, traipsing throughout every inch of our home. At the end of the day; all I could do was to crawl into bed and pray for strength to endure whatever was going to happen on the next day.

My prayers were answered because I am back at my post.

I am looking forward to sharing exciting information about incredible parents, community volunteers, plans to share our song with more schools and opportunities for you to increase your involvement in schools and community organizations. Our schools need you and I need you too. I’M BACK!

It’s That Time Of The Year

In many parts of communities, college students are moving in and settling into their class schedules and new routines. Parents, are breathing a sigh of relief because their children have gone back to school. Other parents, are still at home taking care of their young and figuring out how to balance their kindergartner’s short school schedule into their routine. Teachers are settled behind their desks and welcoming new and former students into their classroom. College professors, are routinely listening to students plead to them to allow them to add their class.

No matter what we can see with the naked eye, let us not loose sight of how much preparation goes into the first few days of school. If, your student’s bus arrived late – plan on tomorrow to wait a little bit longer and not leave them at the stop. Don’t call the principal’s office to complain. Try to exercise some patience if your student does not have their favorite teacher, or is not in the same class as their friends. Change and conflict resolution is one of the cornerstones of the educational system, that is imbedded into every lesson we will study and learn from.

Portrait Of African Clever Student With Open Book Reading It In College Library - Shallow Depth Of Field

Portrait Of African Clever Student With Open Book Reading It In College Library – Shallow Depth Of Field

Parents of college students, understand this concept only too well and expect their students to figure things out, in the weeks and days to come. It is in everyone’s best interest to try to remain patient with each other, especially teachers, who have children of their own and who are managing major levels of stress in their classrooms. Let us all take a breath and figure out what we can do to make ourselves part of the solution and not create more problems, for staff who are underpaid, under appreciated and overworked. Try to enjoy the time that you have with your students, other parents and their teachers, because it will be over before you know it.

Event Photographer Madison WI - http://www.uedaphotography.com/


Consider Others.

 I recently sustained a foot injury at my place of employment. The immediacy of the pain that raced throughout my foot and leg was indescribable and intense. Thankfully, my employer afforded to me leave work and to see a podiatrist. I left his office still in pain and with a large clunky boot on my foot.  I realized a sense of comfort with the thought that I have what I need to  get through the healing process.

My temporary situation and pain helped me to consider others and imagine the physical or emotional challenges that they experience each day? Some might carry their load in the form of depression, pain or sadness, that is not always visible to others around them.

Be sensitive to the needs of others. Many parents and students struggle in silence with physical challenges and diagnoses, that challenges their ability to open doors.  I visited a government office on last week, and literally stood at the bottom of the stairs, wondering how in the world would I climb those stairs? Thankfully, I garnered up the strength to withstand the pain and make it inside, but not before I looked around for marked locations at the front of the buildings that could accommodate others. Consider the needs of your colleagues, students or employees as you go through your day. Ask yourself, what if anything can you do to brighten their day.

Remind your students about the needs of others. Encourage your students to take an extra moment and ask someone if they need help, no matter how independent they might seem. or  just say hello  and  something that will make them smile.  Let’s keep our eyes open for individuals who might need a little nudge, a push or a door opened for them, as, we move students in and out of  our schools this semester. 

Schoolboy after school

Say something nice to others. Compliments are another great way to get involved in anyone’s life, but especially those who are physically disabled.  For the past 15+ years, I have had the privilege of watching a gentleman who is a quadriplegic, maneuver himself from his car and into this home. I was never physically close enough to him to strike up a conversation until this past Monday, when I passed him rolling past in his wheelchair. I backed up my car, stopped and told him exactly what I have shared with you, that I have watched him carry out his daily activities for many years, and how proud I am of what he does to get around. A big smile came over his face and he thanked me and rolled on. pun intended.

Sharon Edwards-Billings, is a parent to three young adult  daughters who completed their education in public schools. Submit your comments or email her at info@allparentsondeck.com

Death doesn’t have a status.

I am not trying to be disrespectful or irreverent to anyone and their families,  at a time when our nation and world is reeling and rocking from,  an ignominious act of violence towards one group of men and a retaliation of violence towards another group of men. I think about the precarious position that teachers will find themselves in several weeks. I just hope that children learn the truth!

Police Line Do Not Cross Yellow Headband Tape and Orange flashing and revolving light. Murder Scene Police Ribbon.

The nation witnessed a cold-blooded murder of an African-American gentleman, at the hands of a white police officer, during a routine traffic stop for a busted tail light. It’s not necessary for me to repeat the story nor to attempt to  to play or pretend to be the judge and jury for the decedent. Neither will  trying to understand why another African-American man would take  into his own hands and kill and cold-blooded murder five police.

SWAT officer in full tactical gear.

Some citizens’ crying for this recognition resonates with words that are for some polarizing –  “Black Lives Matter”. Some people don’t like to hear that because they feel that it is divisive to hear this affirmation.  No matter, their reputations, or occupation – each man that lost his life has family members, who are stuck with the dastardly reality that  they are dead.

two policemen in front of flag

I wish that everyone in our world knew that death does not have any status. One Dead man is the same as the other man – each person is dead! Our nation mourns the loss of each death and we all suffer the consequences  of every death, as one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


Impacting The life of Others Through Volunteerism

Please allow me to express my heartfelt gratitude to Nancy Caldwell, who is the Principal at Kennedy Elementary School, as, well as her key staff, who played an integral role in selecting a volunteer from their school, to attend our “MAKING MUSIC TOGETHER” event at the Overture Center.

I am encouraged to continue knocking on doors, sending out emails and asking for the support of INVOLVED SCHOOLS who employ great principals, teachers, and are filled with INVOLVED PARENTS & Community volunteers, like Mr. Dan Rose, who volunteered at Kennedy Elementary School for four days per week.


Event Photographer Madison WI - http://www.uedaphotography.com/


Event Photographer Madison WI - http://www.uedaphotography.com/

Mr. Rose, was accompanied to our event with his principal, companion and key school staff. Their pride in what he has accomplished with their students, was infectious and left an indelible mark on the hearts of attendees and myself. Mr. Rose is not a parent, but still manages to volunteer his time, skills and expertise to students faithfully, for four days per week and has been consistent at making major academic impacts on the lives of students, through his volunteerism.  It was such an honor to meet this volunteer who has demonstrated a commitment to Kennedy students and teaching staff. He tutored in science, math and literacy on a regular basis. He epitomizes the type of involvement that ALLPARENTSONDECK, has tried to promote in our social media, websites, churches and communities.

Event Photographer Madison WI - http://www.uedaphotography.com/


Event Photographer Madison WI - http://www.uedaphotography.com/

Several weeks, after the event at the Overture Center; I was fortunate enough to go to Kennedy Elementary School and present a plaque to Mr. Rose, without knowing that the day I arrived was his last day as a volunteer at his school. The principal allowed me to present him with his plaque in front of 500+ students, who sat attentively on the playground, as, I publicly thanked him for his service as an American soldier who was wounded in Afghanistan and as a volunteer who has impacted so many lives at this school. It warmed my heart as the children came up to say goodbye and to thank him for volunteering at their school. The pride that teaching staff had for this man was evident by all of the cameras and I-PHONES that were in position as we presented him with his recognition. He moved to another city, but his willing spirit and the service that he consistently provided to so many children will never be forgotten at Kennedy Elementary School.

Our schools are filled with great volunteers who continue make positive impacts on the lives of others. We will do our part to encourage more schools to recognize their volunteers during the school year.


Email Sharon Billings to find out what you can do to get involved and support our organization: www.allparentsondeck.com, or to volunteer in your local school and community. 



I wish that there was a way for me to articulate in words, the exhilaration that flooded my heart on April 29, 2016, as, I recognized each parent honoree and community volunteer for their service to our schools and communities. It took me about one week to digest the appreciation that parent honorees and community volunteers expressed to me, during and after the “MAKING MUSIC TOGETHER” event was over.

Guest and Sharon Edwards-Billings

Guest and Sharon Edwards-Billings

Several parents’ eyes lit up like christmas trees as they marched across the stage to receive their certificates that were presented by ALLPARENTSONDECK, to each parent honoree from the Madison, Milwaukee, Sun Prairie and Verona School Districts.

Joe Hagen - President - ALLPARENTSONDECK, LLC

Joe Hagen – President – ALLPARENTSONDECK, LLC


My heart probably skipped several beats in unison with them as each parent, stood at the center of the stage with me and then at the other end for their personal photograph. We had a wonderful photographer – Romulo Morishita – Ueda Photography, onsite to capture each moment for parents. The photos are available via his website www.uedaphotography.com.




We look forward to next year in April, when we will present a similar type of award ceremony to more parents. Each school district will receive information about the nomination process, well in advance so that they can help ALLPARENTSONDECK, to recognize parents and other volunteers for their positive involvement in our schools.



Submit your comments and questions via email to info@allparentsondeck.com and Sharon Edwards-Billings will respond within 48 hours.